Rob 'Starbucks' Small

I’m a 59-year-old recent retiree attempting a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. I live in Naperville, which is a suburb about 25 miles west of Chicago. After spending 35 years as an IT cubicle dweller, I felt the need to do something epic. A thru-hike of the AT seemed to be the ticket. I love the outdoors and physical activities. I’ve done several backpacking trips to locations including Glacier National Park, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, the Ozarks and the Porcupine Mountains. I have an amazingly supportive wife, adult children, and grandsons. You can also follow my journey on Instagram (@robonthetrek).

Posts

Thoughts on Finishing My AT 2018 NOBO Thru-Hike

Thoughts on Finishing My AT 2018 NOBO Thru-Hike

It is finished. I summited Mount Katahdin on July 31 and thus brought my thru-hike to a conclusion. I was unsure how I would react upon reaching the

Aug 9, 2018 : Rob 'Starbucks' Small
The 100-Mile Rock, Roots, and Mud Wilderness

The 100-Mile Rock, Roots, and Mud Wilderness

I have completed 100-Mile Wilderness. This turned out to be an exceptionally challenging section of the trail for me. This turned out to be an

Aug 6, 2018 : Rob 'Starbucks' Small
I Lost My Mojo, but I’m not Quitting

I Lost My Mojo, but I’m not Quitting

It happened on the ascent of Mount Cube. Mount Cube certainly wasn't among the highest peaks I would climb at 2,900 feet, but it was where I had had

Jul 24, 2018 : Rob 'Starbucks' Small
Rocks, snakes, shin splints and back spasms. Goodbye Pennsylvania!

Rocks, snakes, shin splints and back spasms. Goodbye Pennsylvania!

The rocks beat my feet up badly and shin splints took me off the the trail for two days. This rattlesnake coiled and rattled me just past Dan's

Jun 13, 2018 : Rob 'Starbucks' Small
Reflections from the Halfway Point of My 2018 AT Thru-Hike

Reflections from the Halfway Point of My 2018 AT Thru-Hike

I’m writing this from Carlisle, PA, at mile 1,130 of my 2018 AT thru-hike. These are some thoughts I’ve had as I reflect on the journey so

May 21, 2018 : Rob 'Starbucks' Small